Kimiaki Kageyama


300-year-old Urushi lacquer, cinnabar, gold pigments, gold, pigment of blue verdure, platinum pigment, high quality cultured akoya baroque pearl, mother-of-pearl inlay, epoxy resin
1 x 7/8 x 7/8 inch

Japanese artist Kimiaki Kageyama’s ring makes a contemporary work of wearable art from materials that are ancient and esteemed: the familiar shine of gold and pearl is joined by fragments of 300 year old Urushi lacquer, made from the poisonous sap of the lacquer tree to create a rich, lustrous surface on decorative objects of wood, paper, leather and fiber. Something that is celebrated as the height of Japanese tradition reveals its potential in a ring that is part of the contemporary realm of wearable art, while also showing a dedication to exquisite craftsmanship. The banks of the Kamo River in Kyoto are a famous spot for strolling, and in places stepping stones stud the river’s shallow water; it is a scene evoked by the pearl surrounded by glistening blue pigment. Kimiaki Kageyama studied metal arts at the Tokyo University of the Arts in Japan, and he was Professor and Head of the Department of Metal at Hiko Mizuno Jewelry College in Tokyo. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Herbert Hofmann prize at the Internationale Handwerksmesse in Munich, Germany.